Audiobooks are so great for Family Road Trips, but try getting one that will entertain a teen boy, that’s not too boring for an 8-year-old girl, and doesn’t make the parents want to stab their ears with an icepick…
Here are the ones we love. This is pure gold, mamas: HOURS of children in a minivan without fighting.
Ruffleclaw, by Cornelia Funke
A furry, red monster named Ruffleclaw lives under the shed at Tommy’s house, but he decides his life – and his diet! – would be so much better if he moved in with Tommy. He’s tired of eating bugs. This book entertained our whole family, and I loved how the audiobook was narrated by Cornelia Funke – she brought these characters to life.
Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl
This Roald Dahl classic has been made into a movie, but the audiobook was equally entertaining. Hear how the crafty fox works to outsmart the three meanest farmers around, just when they think they have him surrounded!
A Long Way from Chicago, by Richard Peck
This book series was especially close to my heart, since it takes place in my home state of Illinois. Though I daresay the narrator of the audiobook was not from Illinois, as he kept mis-pronouncing Wabash. Just so you know how the locals say it: Wabash rhymes with “draw cash.” In any case, the series follows a brother and sister from Chicago as they are sent to stay with their grandma in the country each summer. Their grandma, as we would say in the midwest is “quite a character” – she’s stern and crochety, but with a surprising tendency to help the underdog. Your kids will get a lot of satisfaction out of the adventures she draws her grandchildren into.
The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall
The four Penderwick sisters are summering on a beautiful country estate in Massachusetts, which comes complete with a “very interesting boy,” by the name of Jeffrey Tifton. The atmosphere of the book calls to mind a Jane Austen novel due to the charm and manners of the characters and setting, but it’s still very accessible to young listeners. I was delighted to find this popular with both my son and daughter, though my daughter may have been a smidge young at age 8 for the storyline.
The Dragon of Doom: Moongobble & Me by Bruce Coville
Everybody loves a magical quest, and Bruce Colville adds a bit of blundering magician to up the humor and the suspense! Moongobble is an aspiring magician, but can’t seem to get his spells to work the way he intends. Edward, from the cottage next door, befriends Moongobble, and together they set out to help Moongobble earn his full magician status. Both the kids laughed at Moongobble’s backfiring spells, and so did we.
Here’s Hank: Bookmarks are People, Too! by Henry Winkler
In “Here’s Hank,” Henry Winkler has created a friendly character who battles the stress that comes with some learning challenges. I love how the author demystifies and normalizes Hank’s special needs, by mixing situations that are specific to his learning struggles and situations that are universal for any second grade boy with a first grade sister. I thought my squabbling children would relate to his brain freezes and his family, and they did.